For the first time in over 20 years, the Detroit Lions are going to have a starting kicker not named Jason Hanson and it looks like that kicker is going to be veteran David Akers. Akers agreed to terms with the Lions on Friday.
Hanson, who had been the Lions placekicker since 1992, announced his retirement on Thursday, putting Detroit in the market for a kicker.
Akers is coming off arguably the worst season of his 15-year career. The veteran kicker converted only 69 percent of his field goal attempts (29 of 42) in 2012, a number that ranked next-to-last in the league. Ten of Akers' 13 misses came last season came from outside of 40-yards. The 49ers released the 38-year-old in early March and replaced him with former Cleveland Browns kicker Phil Dawson.
Although Akers struggled in 2012, there's plenty of reason to believe he can rebound in 2013. Akers has finished in the top 10 in field goal percentage four times in his career and has converted over 80 percent of his attempts in nine of his 15 seasons. In 2011, Akers made an NFL record 44 field goals and scored 166 points for San Francisco, the fourth-highest point total in league history.
Akers will also get the benefit of kicking indoors for home games, something he hasn't had the luxury of in his 15-year career that has taken him to Washington, Philadelphia and San Francisco. Including games at Minnesota and Arizona, the Lions will play a total of 10 games indoors next season.
If Akers makes the roster, he'll be only the third opening day kicker for the Lions since 1980. Eddie Murray kicked for Detroit from 1980 to 1991. Hanson then followed him up in 1992 and held the job until retiring on Thursday.
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